Thursday, November 21, 2013

Online Companions & Social Media Presence For Law Reviews

@ninarose15 recently tweeted about a blog written by Steve Klepper regarding how Twitter can save law reviews.

According to Steve, here are seven things Penn Law Review is doing right:

1. It has an online companion with online-only articles, which are citable and will appear on Westlaw. If your law review doesn’t have such a companion, it needs one. I’m talking to you, American University Law Review (@AmULRev). (Sorry, Miles! I did have the decency to tell you personally.)

2. It recently ditched the pun-based title, “PENNumbras,” in favor of the descriptive “University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online.” I’m talking to you, Connecticut Law Review (@ConnLRev) CONNtemplations. (Sorry, from someone who grew up in the Hartford suburbs.)

3. It has its own Twitter feed (@PennLawReview) separate from the Law School’s Twitter feed. I’m talking to you, Maryland Law Review. (Sorry for biting a hand that fed me.)

4. It regularly uses that Twitter feed. I’m talking to you, Virginia Law Review (@VirginiaLawRev), with a total of 6 tweets. (Sorry to my alma mater, though I point out that Mr. Jefferson would have dominated Twitter had it then existed.)

5. There is a separate tweet, with link, to announce each new print or online article. I’m talking to you, Texas Law Review (@TexasLRev), which tweets a single link to announce each new issue. (Sorry for messing with Texas.) Such a single link incorrectly assumes that online readers are interested that a new issue of a particular law review has arrived. Article-specific tweets are the ones most likely to draw a click and re-tweet, leading to dissemination beyond your alumni base.

6. The tweets fit within the 140-character limit and are not cut-off mid-word or mid-sentence. I’m talking to you, California Law Review (@CalifLRev). (Sorry bec….) Use pithy “click bait” – like, for instance, this post’s hyperbolic title.

7. When it held its recent symposium, “Federal Rules at 75,” it tastefully posted a few pictures or announcements. Hundreds of live tweets can cause a reader to click “Unfollow,”never to return. If you want to do a play-by-play, you can set up a separate Twitter feed for your symposium.

These are all wonderful ideas for law reviews, but it can be hard to get a student organization and the school to come together on burgeoning ideas to keep law review relevant. The law reviews that are doing these things are on the right track, and thank you to Steve Klepper for publicizing the good things.

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